Swansea University’s innovative schools’ outreach programme is in the running for a top award for its work promoting diversity in the world of science education.
Technocamps, which has additional hubs at every Welsh university, has been shortlisted in the inaugural Wales STEM Award alongside other companies, projects and individuals who champion and make a difference to science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) in Wales.
Technocamps has been shortlisted in the category STEM Educational Programme of the Year where judges were looking for evidence of an initiative which either addresses the STEM diversity gap, the skills shortage or seeks to inspire and raise the aspirations of the next generation. Technocamps is recognised as being outstanding in all three fields.
Director of Technocamps Professor Faron Moller said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be shortlisted for this award. To be considered alongside some of the most amazing initiatives in the country is humbling, and we are delighted to have the recognition for the hard work that we do.”
The project concentrates on providing hands-on workshops for secondary schools in order to encourage the take-up of computing and STEM subjects at GCSE, A-level and beyond through various initiatives:
- Playground Computing works to counter the problem of specific groups of young people – particularly girls – disengaging with STEM subjects in the transition period between primary and secondary school;
- Technoteach provides much-needed professional development and training to teachers charged with delivering the new computing curriculum. This is particularly important given that 75 per cent of the nation’s ICT teachers have no formal training in ICT; and,
- Institute of Coding in Wales represents the industrial arm of Technocamps providing professional development opportunities to the nation’s businesses. It has led the way with the provision of digital degree apprenticeships, providing Wales’ first (and still only) graduating cohort of degree apprenticeship students in 2019.
All finalists will now be considered by an industry-leading panel of Welsh entrepreneurial minds, with the winner of each of the 15 categories set to be announced on November 12, 2020.
Head judge Louise Bright, founder of the Wales Women in STEM network, said: “We really feel that our shortlist represents some of the most progressive organisations and individuals at the forefront of STEM innovation in Wales.”